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IBM CPRM Plan Replaced with Similar Copy-Prevention Plan 174

Posted by michael
from the old-wine-in-new-bottles dept.
Several people submitted the news that IBM withdrew its CPRM plan yesterday - some of them with blurbs like "We Won! Yay!". But only a few people got the additional information that it was simply replaced with another extremely similar copy-prevention scheme, this one from Phoenix Technologies, well known for their widely used BIOS's. Even though the committee responsible for this has been deluged with email in opposition, the CPRM group (led by Paul Anderson and Jeffrey Lotspiech of IBM) continues to press forward, distributing propagandistic lies about how the system will protect [sic] your fair-use right to access and use digital content. Update: 02/24 7:20 PM EST by michael : The Register has even more information from Andre Hedrick.
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IBM CPRM Plan Replaced with Similar Copy-Prevention Plan

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  • Well, folks, I was at the T.13 meeting myself (as an observer, not as a voting member). I read through the proposals and participated in the discussions. I agree with Andre that the Phoenix proposal is *not* the "Son of CPRM"... and I speak as a person who really loathes invasive copy protection and went to the meeting specifically to argue against including CPRM in the ATA-6 draft spec. I really do think that the public *won* an important victory, folks.

    All the Phoenix proposal does, is provide a somewhat standardized way for doing vendor-specific extensions to the command set. Drive vendors *already* have the ability to do this - "vendor specific" command codes have been part of the ATA standard for years. Up until now, though, there was no way for a disk drive to report *which* vendor-specific command codes it implements, or what interpretation it puts on them.

    The Phoenix proposal reserves a range of 8 command codes (previously listed as "obsolete") for the new "generic command" feature. It allows a drive to use these commands to implement *any* sort of vendor-specific features that the manufacturer and customer might want. The drive can make available a 128-bit code intended to identify the command set. This 128-bit GUID (Globally Unique ID) is *not* an encryption key - it's simply a way of identifying which command set the drive implements.

    Vendors could implement all sorts of useful capabilities using this mechanism. It might be a way to support drive-based data compression, or to "tune" drive performance in customer-specific ways, or to retrieve information about the drive's health which goes beyond what's available in the normal drive error and performance logs. Heck, it could be used to implement a "play a tune by chattering the drive head back and forth" feature if you wanted to, or to issue "perk" and "pour" and "clean filter" commands to a robotic coffeemaker attached to an ATA interface if you wanted to do something that silly.

    The Phoenix proposal is not a "similar copy-prevention plan". It does *not* enshrine any sort of copy protection algorithms, rules, keys, key management strategies, or licensing rules into ATA-6 in the way that the CPRM proposal would have. It says nothing about copy protection at all. I spoke with the gentleman from Phoenix who wrote the proposal, and he told me that it was an idea that he'd been thinking about for some years because he could see that it could have a lot of useful applications. The CPRM hoorah was what prodded him into actually writing it down and proposing it.

    The *only* relationship between the Phoenix proposal, and any sort of copy control, is that the generic commands _could_ be used as the interface to a copy management scheme if a vendor chose to use them in that way. But, as I said above, vendors could ALREADY be doing this if they wanted to, through the "vendor specific" command codes that have been in ATA for years.

    The Phoenix proposal also gives the drive user a way to shut off whatever generic command set is supported by the drive. This can be done either via the SET FEATURES command (disabling the generic features until the drive is physically powered down) or via DEVICE CONFIGURATION OVERLAY (disabling the features even across powerdown). The proposal states that these disable features "shall" be supported - which means that the disable is *mandatory*. A drive which was sold with a generic command set and GUID (of *any* sort) that could not be disabled, would be in violation of the ATA-6 spec - this would cause the drive to fail qualification at a *lot* of customers.

    The T.13 committee is not going to be "registering" generic command sets, their 128-bit GUIDs, or their interpretation. That is *strictly* up to the drive manufacturers and their customers (assuming that the Phoenix proposal passes, that is). That's the biggest reason why the GUID was spec'ed with so many bits in it... a drive vendor can simply pick a GUID for their feature set at random, and not have to worry about the chance that another vendor will choose the same GUID.

    As I said, folks, I think we won one this time around. The committee members were well aware of how much public upset there was over CPRM. If IBM hadn't withdrawn the CPRM proposal, I believe it would have been voted down. I can't predict the future, but I personally doubt that they'll ever try to reintroduce it.

    The bigger battle to come will almost certainly lie elsewhere - in the courts, and in Congress.

    The T13 web/FTP sites seem to be going through some changes at the moment (this was mentioned at the meeting), and I don't see a copy of the Phoenix proposal on-line yet. Keep your eye on the technical-documents directory [t13.org]. The proposal will be document e01112r1 when it's posted there.

    Read through it for yourself and see what it says. And, if you still have concerns, come to the next T.13 meeting, in April - they're open to the public, they're free, and no preregistration of any sort is necessary.

  • "I don't see the problem here."

    The problem is that the "copy protection" thwarts both illegal copying and copying that falls under fair use. You don't have to believe that proprietary software is evil to find that disturbing.

  • Last time I visited OpenBIOS, it seemed dead. Did I get the wrong site, or something?

    In contrast, there's lots of activity over at LinuxBIOS [lanl.gov].

  • However it's perfectly legal to override it.

    It's merely a safety measure to limit the top speed of the car to stay within the design parameters of the tires, or other parts of the car. It's not mandatory for manufacturers to implement it.
  • Re: argument, I had first wanted to point out that Capitalism, while better than the other systems we know about, isn't perfect, and is hopefully not the end all be all of economic models. And secondly, you hd said: "I don't understand how you can believe that a physical item can be owned but a non-physical item can't" in the context of copyright, which I went into at great length.

    Remember my lad, it doesn't matter if you believe that people have the right to own it and that it's property, it matters if it can be reasonably shown to be ownable property and if your friendly neighboorhood government decides that it is. In the US, which is generally a good starting point for these discussions on /. copyrighted content has never been shown to be ownable property nor been declared by law to be. When you become tyrant supreme of the world, feel free to change the law, though I'll still be waiting with baited breath as to what definition of property you'll use that can be extended to words. Please stop resorting to 'Because I said so.'

    Re: property, I didn't say you had to be able to destroy it. I said you had to be able to dispose of it. Give it away, sell it, destroy it - they all count. As you note, different options may be needed for different items: land is tricky to destroy. It's pretty easy to give or sell it though. Books are well known on the other hand for being really easy to light afire.

    Oh, and for streaming video, sorry, no. While the 'owner' may be able to make contracts with people regarding the creation of and lending of copies, he cannot prevent users from capturing those copies against his will. Maybe they have hacked the streaming protocol or client to save it to disk. (shouldn't be awful in Unix, which is good at doing that kind of thing I'd think) Maybe they have a videocamera pointed at the screen. And it still wouldn't matter, because as long as someone looks at the output, and remembers, that will be a copy that the 'owner' has no power over. Unless you plan to let copyright holders lobotomize people at will. (which doesn't exactly fulfill the goals of copyright does it?) The same thing goes for destroying the copies. The copies that they wanted made may be destroyed. But they couldn't do anything about other copies.

    I do agree a bit with what you say about agreeing to terms. But not altogether. First off, if you didn't agree to the terms and used it anyway you're a copyright infringer, aka pirate. Not a thief. There's a slight difference. (you know - MSDOS wasn't quite DRDOS. Burglary isn't precisely identical with robbery. Affect isn't effect. Laypeople might not realize or care, but that doesn't eliminate the difference)

    Secondly, if an author makes their work available under onerous terms (e.g. willfully give up fair use, first sale, etc.) do they deserve full copyright protection? Personally, I wouldn't think so. Rather like people who encrypt works but claim that they were published. More attention has to be paid, IMHO, to the long term effects of these practices, and the responsibility of authors if they wish to be afforded the luxury of a copyright.
  • I don't see the problem here. Commerical software is restricted and it is against the law (in most countries) to use software that you have not paid for. This is another example of how commerical software is developed to restrict not to benefit the users. If you want freedom over the software you use, stop using software that restricts your freedoms. Fighting this battle on their terms is a lost cause, the only practical way to fight this is by replacing restricted software with Free (community owned) software.

    If you want to replace everything from operating systems to games with Free/Open Software then I suggest we start looking into ways that would alow the community to fund developers to write these programs full time.

    Developers will only be able to devote themselve's full time if they can afford to do so. Since free software isn't about price, and all about freedom why is it that the users of Free Software do not provide the developers with the resources required to better serve us?

  • I think that everyone would agree that the content creator should have the last word over how his content should be used.

    Where the hell did you get that idea? There is no legal basis for this. And who is "everyone"?
    ___

  • Based on their past behaviour, I should think the big media corps will persuade governments to slap a big levy on hard drives that don't implement access control, so the ones that do will be cheaper.
  • The problem is, every time the floppy drive hit an error, it would reset itself by "banging" the head repeatedly against the stop, eventually knocking it out of alignment.

    This ought to be illegal under computer misuse legislation. Sadly I don't think it's practical for real people to use this against corporations.

  • This legislation is already in place in the UK, leading Ross Anderson to conclude that he is an international terrorist [greenend.org.uk] (though not for economic reasons).
  • Here are your recent submissions to Slashdot, and their status within the system:
    • 2001-02-22 20:47:19 CPRM proposal removed from ATA HDD (yro,news) (rejected)

    --
    "In the land of the brave and the free, we defend our freedom with the GNU GPL."
  • > Your third condition is that it is possible to destroy it. How does, oh, land, fit that requirement? Sure, you could nuke it, but for most of the 5,000 years of civilization, land was permanent.
    I believe ploughing in salt was the traditional way of destroying land's agricultural value, which, for most of the 5,000 years, was all that counted.

    --
  • Very nice commentary on other media sources here: [theregister.co.uk]

    Like so many Register stories, CPRM bypassed the trade press almost entirely en-route to the national and international media, where it made the front page of the San Jose Mercury, and was covered by many national inkies including The Times and The Independent. But look in vain for coverage on Wired, or the CMP networks, and apart from one tragic effort - which failed to mention the boycott - it went ignored by the CNet/ZDNet conglomerate too. That explains the title of our FAQ on the topic.

    Well, believe it or not, ZDNet still refuses to tell you anything about CPRM. Today ZDNet reporter Rob Lemos (hi, Rob) turned in a sterling story on the subject, but it was published only on CNet's site, and not by ZDNet News. Keeping the news away from your readers is quite a challenge for news editors, and must merit some lovely glass Anti-Journalism gong all of its own.

    Ye gads, how long can they keep it up?
  • The content providers have money, lots of it. And they are sharing it so they can make more money.

    My concern is that once you give them control of your computer how long will it remain "your" computer?
  • WTF are you talking about? I'm an atheist, you moron.

    -
  • > How big of a deal is this really going to be?

    This is a troll, right?

    > I will be the first one to sign up for this
    > if it will lower the retail cost of games and apps

    OK, let's pretend that you're running a big for-profit software company. You find a way to cut costs (actually, someone else forces changes in the tools that people use to eat into your margins a tiny bit; does anyone have real numbers on what software theft costs in the US?). Do you pass that long to your customers? Do you give all the "hard-working developers" raises? If you said "hell no!", you pass CEO 101.

    So tell me again why this isn't such a bad idea?
  • canadian socialism? how many people has that killed, and how does that compare with the people that capitalism has killed? (remember to count everyone we killed in iraq against capitalism).
  • It's not the same as CPRM, in fact, it could be much better for consumers.

    See the Register article [theregister.co.uk] on the same topic.

    It gets a modest thumbs up from ATA guru Andre Hedrick:

    Although the proposal - which has not yet been published outside the open meeting - does not specifically prevent any command sets such as CPRM from applying to fixed hard drives at a later date, Hedrick says the important point is that the owner of the drive could disable the features. And furthermore, it gives users of operating systems that let such features through block them. However, he plans to reserve his final judgement until review of the published document.
  • No, it's copy prevention. Copyright enforcement means it would only step in if I were to attempt a copyright violation. I have numerous good reasons to make copies, all valid under the "Fair use" doctrine. These are attempts to prevent me from making legal copies. If you want to call it enforcement, then you could also call frying someone in the electric chair because they might kill someone "enforcement" .
  • "Copy-control", the "CC" in "DVDCCA". It's not about copying, it's about control.

    -jhp

  • Am I wrong when I thing the media industry is using an old tactic to force down the throat the introduction of copy prevention facilities?

    Let's see it this way: mandatory copy prevention mechanisms are just a pain in the ass for user and manifacturers, and unreasonable as it is, I doubt it would ever be popular. OTOH, optional copy prevention mechanisms are somewhat less evil, but they can be as bad if they ever become widespread (i.e. try surfing the web with cookies disabled, as someone pointed out in another post).

    Now thing are presented to the mass as if you have only two choices and you have to choose only between them. Basically, they are trying to force you to choose between something evil and a compromise. But when you are faced with two options there is always a third option: the status quo (no compromises at all).

    Briefly: the media industry asked for 200 and obtained 0, the media industry now is asking for 100 (which is the goal of the media industry, and is less unreasonable than 200, but still unreasonabe). People accepting this compromise just because is less evil than what was originally proposed are just pawns the media's game.

  • Phoenix. The ones who've always made the extremely minimal BIOSs with the bizarre bugs (I've NEVER seen one that was bug-free), then want to sell you a new BIOS instead of giving you a flash update. Yeah, that's a company I really trust to do copy protection in hardware. They can't even get their core product right, how does anyone expect them to get it right in a new product designed around someone else's specs?? I can see it now -- copy-protection chip bug keeps you from accessing your own data that you just wrote. Don't say I didn't warn you!
  • OH MY GOD! [slashdot.org]

    - - - - -
  • Every computer user in the world has copyrighted data on their comptuer. It may be legal (free software, or an owned copy of windows), illegal (MP3s from Napster or pirated version of windows), but copyrighted none the less. Thus copy protection is an issue for all users.

    Second, this brings up a number of fair use concerns. I like to think that I am entitled to rip and mp3ify CDs I own, store them on my hard drive, and upload some subset of them onto my portable MP3 player. The RIAA would like me to pay for each copy I have, and to pay each time I upload a song onto my MP3 player. A sucessful copy protection scheme would give them a means to enforce this.

    This is the important part: Even though my actions are perfectly legal, the DMCA would make it illegal for me to bypass the encryption to allow me to do so.

    Another important concern I have over this kind of software is that it requires a "trusted" copy command that contains the keys necessary to decrypt the content and doesn't allow the data to be subverted to a non-protected representation. This means, any software that can access "protected" materials needs to have direct hardware access, since it must bypass the OS (or be part of it). This effectively means that you have to have tools like cp and media player execute in kernel space. Now who thinks this is a good idea?
  • The RIAA and others eventually hope to abandon copyright entirely, since it was created by a bunch of bleeding heart hippies who think that consumers still have rights. In the future, if they get their way, acceptable use will be governed not by laws, controlled by unreliable congressmen (who have this nasty tendancy of not staying bribed), but by technology that allows them complete control over uses of their so-called property.

    Since subverting content protection schemes, even for completely legal purposes is now illegal, as soon as they manage to widely deploy these technologies, it will be illegal to make even fair use of copyrighted material.

    We have already seen it with DeCSS and region coded DVDs, it is only a matter of time before the music industry catches up.

    Write your elected representatives! encourage them to support consumer freedom and choice! They probably won't listen, but you can say you tried.
    Who knows, it might raise their bribe threshold to the point it is unprofitable for the RIAA :)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    If you don't want to buy a hard drive with copy protection technology, then don't. You can't tell me that every single vendor is going to put this stuff in -- there's a thing called supply and demand. Ever hear of the Apex 600A? Wonder why it sold so well?

    If your new OS demands you have a hard drive with copy protection, don't use it, or wait a few minutes for those people who break copy checks on games to modify your OS. If your recording-industry-sponsored music sharing program demands a hard drive with copy protection, don't use it. I've yet to see a single industry music-sharing idea that holds a candle to napster and/or napigator, and we all know better than to believe WMA or SDMI are suddenly going to replace MP3.
  • Is it just me, or does Phoenix seem evil? These were the same people who planned to include bootup ads in their BIOSes [slashdot.org]. I'm not sure if that plan ever got off the ground, as I don't actually have a Phoenix BIOS ;).

    Alex Bischoff
    ---
  • Does anyone have any details on what Phoenix's proposal is? The news article is lacking in content of this area.
  • Geez. Why can't they give it a rest?

    I'm all for copy-protection. But only if it's of an ethical sort. In my book, to be ethical, it needs to follow four basic guidelines. All four of these are equally important, so don't go reading into the order or anything:
    • It must account for fair use. Things like time-shifting, space-shifting, research, criticism, parody, and the like. CPRM fails this test miserably.
    • It must stop working when the copyright expires. This is why encryption as a copy-protection tool is not a Good Thing, ditto for DVD's region lockouts as they are currently implemented and used.
    • It must not invade the user's privacy more than is absolutely necessary. GPS-based systems are right out.
    • It must presume innocence of infringement when a user makes a copy of the file, unless it can find proof that the user is guilty. This is where CPRM dies.

    Of course, these four violate other guidelines than the ones I mentioned, but I used each of these examples because they're particularly well-known for the problem I listed them under.

    Note that no known computer-based copy-protection scheme falls under these. But other methods work. Among them: competent law enforcement. There are many other ways to capture pirates. They're not as effective, but unlike the current popular methods they don't punish perfectly innocent people along with The Bad Guys.
    ----------
  • First, I like capitalism, but it has problems. The reason that I like capitalism is that when it's working right, and people are acting competitively, there's a lot of efficiency that results.

    The problem is that none of the capitalists involved are interested in efficiency or competition. They're motivated by a desire to destroy their competition and get maximum profits.

    Consumers in a capitalist system want producers to have minimum profits and pass the savings back. But businesses keep trying to become monopolies, and when they do they pretty much inevitably try to exert that monopoly power to get more wealth, ruining the capitalist landscape.

    If capitalism had a built in governor that could prevent the system from degrading like that, it'd be totally sweet. It's not though.

    Is there a better system? Perhaps. Has it been discovered? Sadly, no. Find me something better than capitalism and I'd be all for it. I'm not stupid; I want things that are good, regardless of what the name is. If Communism or Socialism were better I'd be in favor of them. As it stands, we're doing best with Capitalism, but it's certainly not good enough to make me satisfied.

    As for property, you're an idiot. Sorry, don't mean to be flame-happy, but it's true. As has been explained countless times on /. by myself and others, information cannot be owned. Non-physical items _may_ depending on their nature be owned, and in fact copyright is one of those, but that's not what the previous poster was talking about.

    Unless you've got a better one, the working definition of property is that is is something that can meet three criteria. 1) that the owner be able to use and enjoy the thing 2) that they can let others use it at their sufferance 3) that they can dispose of it.

    Information meets the first one just fine, we all know that.

    But as for the second, when you let other people read your novel, you can't have it back. The manuscript, yes. The words, no. I can recite whole portions of books, movies, songs, etc. from memory. It's not unusual. But if I were to place them in a commercial venue, it would be infringement. Clearly my memories are sufficient to count, yet, my memories are clearly not ownable. Nor would it be desirable for them to be. People with photographic memories can and do read books once and never need to refer to a printed copy again. Yet if they read a book, it is not considered copyright infringement unless they copied it out again. Still, the information from the book was copied into their noggins and can't fulfill requirement #2.

    The third is just the same. The author holds the original copy of a work in their head, generally. Then they copy it out to some medium. Copies in a medium may be protected, but not the intangible portion of the work - the exact words, the look of a painting, shape of a sculpture, etc.

    Copyrights are entirely different. While no one can own the words in a book, they can own an artificial and limited right granted under certain conditions, for certain purposes by the government. This right permits them exclusively to make copies of the work without legal liability, for as long as the government permits it to exist. (which is regulated) The right is property - it can be used, extended or withdrawn to others, or given away or destroyed. But then again, it's not information.
  • No, there's a difference.

    If words can be property, there's no purpose in copyright law. But they aren't property. They can't be property, unless you adopt a Newspeak approach to language in which words can be what you want them to mean. (heh - words are property, love is hate, war is peace)

    Copyrights do serve a useful purpose, when used as instructed. We haven't been for the last few decades though, and it shows. If there were significant reform in the realm of copyright - a drastic shortening of terms, laws emphasizing the utilitarian model, stricter requirements for registration and extensions of works, better archiving - it could be an extraordinarily good thing. However the concept that words can be property is offensive and quite wrong. It's possible to be for a good copyright system and against IP in about the same way that it's possible to be for moderate use of alcohol but against drunkeness.

    Unfortunately our government is listening more towards moneyed interests and foreign powers than it is to us, the jerkoffs.
  • Yeah, it's a little older than WW2.

    It was part of a speech by James Philpot Curran of Ireland. In 1790.

    The actual quote is: "The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and punishment of his guilt."

    It gets paraphrased effectively enough though.
  • If Phoenix or Award or American Megatrends or whoever could legally "clean room reverse engineer" the IBM PC bios, it should be possible for someone else to do the same thing and make it open source, but someone will probably have to cough up some actual money to keep the ball rolling 'til it gets done.

    If a quarter million Slashdotters each Paypal in a buck or two that might make a good start if it winds up in the hands of someone that can be trusted not to blow it all on administrative salaries like some "charities", and if that someone knows the right way to manage the project and the money.

  • I had trouble with them a day or two ago, and it's not the first time, but it doesn't happen very often or last too long so I just figure it's caused by sunspots or something. If the problem was on their end they probably would have mentioned it on the site, unlike Slashdot, where you're just left to wonder.

    I can e-mail you a copy of whatever Reg article you can't get if you let me know which one.

  • Nope, it's really easy.

    First, you get a logo designed and trademarked. Then, in your Copious Spare Time, you evalute a bunch of devices. If they prove compliant, then you send a polite letter to the manufacturer saying, "Congratulations! Your Flabloden model #XP-Z7 meets the conditions for bearing the OMI compliance symbol. As you may be aware, OMI is an organization dedicated to promoting the values of [blah blah blah...] So that consumers will be able to more readily identify your product as safe, you are authorized to use the OMI logo on the specific-named product, and on product-related promotional literature and Web sites. Encapsulated Postscript and PNG files of approved logo imagery may be obtained from..."

    Some manufacturers may choose not to bother, but their stuff still gets listed on the OMI Web site. So a central resource listing approved devices still exists, and people can still make informed choices.

    Yes, it's a massive exercise in reputation-building. No better time to start than now...

    Schwab

  • while it's certainly nice to know this development, (and thank you for your post) I sure as hell wouldn't want to see my company email address associated with "propagandistic lies" on the front page of slashdot. It looks like you're trying to incite the flaming tard hordes to mailbomb the poor bastards who have to work on this crap.

    I know damn well it's up to us, not you, to dig for both sides of the story ... but that's just cold man. Do you really think the tripe 99% of us are going to send to these guys is going to have a positive effect on their stance?

  • Oooooh...capitalistic. How terrible. Please propose a system which works better than capitalism. There are about hundred million dead people from Stalin, Mao, and other various Communist goons' experiments in non-capitalism.
    100 million people? That's about the death-count attributable to automobiles since they exist. Now, automobiles are quite a capitalistic product; so, try to imagine what the total death count of capitalism would be, when you ALSOinclude the victims of worplace disease and injury, ill-paid workers who can't afford doctors, and third-world workforce that work in sweatshops, all the result of your fine capitalist system.

    --


  • I hate to say it, but it seems to be truer than ever. It used to apply just to governments, etc.; now it applies to anyone with big bucks.
    Not in the USA, where "anyone with big bucks" ==* "government".

    * I did put the "==" to make believe that I program in C, but in reality, I'm a Delphi [borland.com] junkie...

    --

  • After all, I've got nothing to hide!

    When you give the auditors the power to do whatever they please, someday when they come to check you out you will find the sad truth:

    The auditor never leaves until he finds SOMETHING. If you don't believe me, ask any auditor.

    -
  • Why the entertainment industry makes me sick:
    (http://www.trond.com/brazil/b_faq02.html)

    "Scheinberg's editors Bill Gordean and Steve Lovejoy created an edit which cut out many of the dream sequences and essential threads in the plot of Brazil, while splicing in all elements of humor and all usable footage involving Sam Lowry and Jill Layton, the "dream girl". If that wasn't bad enough, Gordean and Lovejoy also lopped off the entire ending sequence which involved Sam Lowry's interrogation (and eventual loss of sanity) by his coworker Jack Lint. Instead, they chose to end the film where Sam finally consummates his relationship with Jill, and escapes with her to the country. Also suggested was the replacement of Kamen's symphonic score with one of rock music - in order to "attract teens."

    If that doesn't make you sick, I don't know what will. Anyway, after rereading the FAQ, it appears that this edit was not the one released in the US after all, but only due to a LOT of pressure:

    "Universal finally opened Gilliam's 132 minute cut of Brazil at two theaters in Los Angeles on Christmas Day, 1985, later slowly bringing it across the country in a limited number of theatres with limited advertising."

    I just wonder how many directors were not as 'lucky' as Terry Gilliam was.
  • Hmm, right. Perhaps Content Access Restriction then? Or just GREED for Global Rights Enforcement of Entertainment Data which captures the true essence of these measures :)
  • I very much prefer Copyright Enforcement Measures. I think I've read it somewhere on the register, cheers to whoever it is that came up with this =P
  • Alternatively, watching Terry Gilliams' Brazil[1] half a dozen times or so could enlighten him.

    It's getting easier and easier to face the fate of Mr. Tuttle^WButtle I'm afraid.

    ---
    [1] Preferably the European version and definitely NOT the unbelievably stupid US one. I can't believe the nerves they had to happy-end that movie. Hollywood makes me sick.
  • What support are you requesting?

    Caution: Now approaching the (technological) singularity.
  • Hollywood put a happy ending on Brazil ?!

    And I thought I'd heard it all...

    Thank [insert focus of believe system here] I have a copy of the original.

    Cheers,

    Tim
  • How damaged is your brain if you think capitalism implies cars?

    -jon

  • Come on, stop and think: *intellectual property*? What kind of capitalistic, corporate oxymoron is that? It's absurd and every day grows more so.

    Oooooh...capitalistic. How terrible. Please propose a system which works better than capitalism. There are about hundred million dead people from Stalin, Mao, and other various Communist goons' experiments in non-capitalism.

    I don't understand how you can believe that a physical item can be owned but a non-physical item can't. Of course, if you don't believe in private ownership of physical items, please post your address and leave your door open tonight. Someone will stop by and borrow your stuff.

    -jon

  • Last time I checked, Canada is capitalist. You can buy stuff and sell stuff, and you can set the prices for what you are buying and selling (more or less).

    True socialism would be fully government organized redistribution of all goods and services. I don't think Canada does that, but it's been a few years since I've been there.

    -jon

  • No, I confuse nothing. Stalin wanted collective farms as part of doing away with private property. Tens of millions starved due to this experiment with communism. Similar things happened in China and other communist countries.

    I'm not even talking about the totalitarian aspects of the USSR. But they do logically flow from a lot of Communist theology. How do you force people to give up their private property and give according to their skills and only take according to their means? A one-way trip to Siberia was the prime motivator, since the kindness of people's hearts wasn't working.

    This is a bit tangential, but it's interesting to note how many of the peace and love and sharing gurus are serious control freaks. Draw your own parallels to the rise of totalitarianism in the USSR.

    -jon

  • I'm sure millions have died because of unsafe workplaces and sweatshop like conditions in captialistic societies. And millions more have died because of unsafe products that were intentionally made unsafe by the use of inferrior materials in order to reduce costs and increase profits.

    And these things have nothing to do with anything inherit in captialism. Collective farms and not allowing individual initiative have everything to do with communism. Try again.

    Our punishment for socially unacceptable behaviour is not that different, despite our best efforts to convince us otherwise.

    Yes, but our rules are different. Rather than THOU SHALL most of them are formulated as THOU SHALL NOT. It's easier to NOT do something than it is to do it. It's also more moral, IMHO, to hold people accountable for sins of comission rather than sins of omission. If you can't see the difference between the two, I don't have anything to say to you.

    If it weren't for this greed factor, I'm sure socialism or communism would work extremely well.

    Well, duh. You mean a system that works based on motivations that people actually have is a good idea? Wow! You know, if it wasn't for gravity, I bet I could jump really high!

    -jon

  • I was, of course, kidding when I said I didn't know if Canda allowed people to buy and sell stuff.

    And I agree completely with you. I am one of the few people who doesn't mind paying taxes. I get stuff for them, even if that stuff is educating someone else's kids. It's all in my best interest, because it builds a better society.

    What I was disagreeing with was the use of the word "Capitalist" as a slur. Capitalism is the best system yet devised to distribute goods and services. The distribution might not always be as equitable as everyone would like, but it beats all the alternatives.

    -jon

  • Very stirring. Of course, you aren't actually arguing against my original point, so your elequence is basically intellectual masturbation. But I believe you have the right to own it, so it's yours.

    You mention three conditions for something to be "property." Your third condition is that it is possible to destroy it. How does, oh, land, fit that requirement? Sure, you could nuke it, but for most of the 5,000 years of civilization, land was permanent. It met your first two requirements, but not your third.

    How about digital streaming video? It meets all three of your requirements; it can be used by the owner, the owner can lend it out ON HIS OWN TERMS, and it can be destroyed (the original is deleted). If you don't like the terms, don't use it. If you agree to the terms and ignore them, you're a liar. If you don't agree to the terms and use it anyway, you're a thief. Take your pick.

    -jon

  • For those who don't know, C-64 copy protection often seemed to involve intentionally messing up part of the disk in a particular way, so that when you tried to read from that part, you'd get an error code. Then, they'd just have their program try to read the disk in that spot - if there wasn't an error, or it wasn't the RIGHT error, it was obviously a copy ("Obviously", copy programs wouldn't copy errors, would they? [More advanced bit-for-bit 'nibbler' copiers popped up in short order that DID, so you could once again make functional backups of your software...but I digress.]) The problem is, every time the floppy drive hit an error, it would reset itself by "banging" the head repeatedly against the stop, eventually knocking it out of alignment.

    Ah, yes, when I was in high school, I worked afternoons and weekends in the local computer store as a bench technician on C64s. Our number one service request was realigning the r/w head on the 1541 drive because of this. At $65 a pop (in 1980's money) it was quite lucrative...

  • Last time I checked, Canada is capitalist. You can buy stuff and sell stuff, and you can set the prices for what you are buying and selling (more or less).

    Unless you are a health care provider....In that case it is illegal to try to sell your services outside of the govt run socialist system.

  • For goods and services such as health care, education, law enforcement, rail transportation, road networks etc., socialism is the best system.

    Not so fast there with those conclusions, pardner! Socialist systems have no competition to spur them to improve. If the socialist service sucks, and no private alternative is available, then you are up a creek. I work in healthcare along side plenty of ex Canadian docs and nurses with all types of horror stories of how long people would have to wait for an operation to end their pain. And in many cases, the care simply would not be provided and the canadian citizen has to fly down to the states and get pay to get the care they need. It is illegal for Canadian docs to even offer alternative services to those of the socialist system. This is unlike the British system where there are private health care alternatives for those who aren't content to wait a long time to get service. It's all about options - options are a good thing from a consumer standpoint.

    I would like to see private education companies compete for the business of running local schools (they would win contracts and use public buildings). Outcomes could be measured and contracts would be renewed on a merit basis. If the education company gets a good rep, then they'll get more contracts. In the current public school system, there is little pressure for schools to compete and improve.

    I agree with you on law enforcement.

    As far as IP relates to either Socialism or Capitalism, I think that IP is an inherently anticompetitive construct. I would like to see companies compete purely on the basis of timely delivery of quality products and services at the best possible price. IP adds artificial constraints to competition and in that sense is anticapitalist IMHO. Allowing ideas and patterns to become "capital" stifles the competition that is essential to capitalism.

  • Since both democracy and capitalism depend so much on informed decisions, I guess explains why powerful entities are so good at dealing with the media. Luckily the Internet, and sites like this, can be a way to eliminate that problem (I assume the CPRM committee was directly influenced by the media discussion, maybe even Andre's interview here). .

    The importance of that statement cannot be understated. People are getting informed and a little organized. Hopefully groups like the EFF and such can become a more powerful voice of reason. But it's up to us.
  • Unfortunately, you are pretty much right.

    I haven't got an mailing list email for it in a couple of months, and the last few were about LinuxBIOS.

    I, however, will continue to listen and help out if other poeple do. I may be changing jobs soon (I'm fscking bored with my current one), and hope that maybe my next employer will like the idea. I'm looking at Amirix [amirix.com] in my city who does embedded Debian and if they think so too (I'm specifically trained in embedded), there might be a chance for revival. I want to change my dev board design [funktronics.ca] to PCI and make it better.

    I'm giving my current employer one more chance before I take off (long story, even though it's a Linux company...).

    Of all the projects I've been involved in, I thing OpenBIOS is the most important, though I haven't shown it lately...

    If you're interested, I'd be extremely happy to talk to you. I still have a load of great OB email talking about the initial design issues.
  • by jfunk (33224)
    Yet another reason to support OpenBIOS.

    The major BIOS companies don't seem to like the idea of developing technology to benefit users. I wouldn't either, if I was stuck in that market. It gives them no competitive advantage.

    Companies have tried and created better BIOS software but failed because the big guys can sell them cheaper, and will continue to do so by not caring about useability and such.

    It seems the only way to actually improve it is to remove the financial burden on the developer's part.

    This is an application open source is perfect for. Individual developers, chipmakers, and motherboard manufacturers can make a much better BIOS through collaboration and openness. SiS has already jumped on it, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory have created a temporary solution called LinuxBIOS, which is fulfilling a current need.

    Costs go down for everybody at a point and a community will undercut companies like Phoenix. The end result is a better BIOS and an open system.

    So far the only problem has been time and resources. Debugging a BIOS is more complicated than debugging a CLI app, and those of us already involved are quite busy with other things. We need to get over the first hump of a well planned initial design that satisfies all requirements yet allows for easy expansion.

    Maybe someday...
  • Yep, we are capitalist, but not totally.

    Neither is the US. The US has government owned companies that make money such as the US Postal Service.

    Canada has more of these companies, we call them crown corporations. The belief is that some services are too important to allow them to go bankrupt. If they don't make enough money, the taxpayers pay the difference and we still get the service. If they make more money than they need, the money can go to other crown corporations such as health care and education.

    That's how it's supposed to work at least. I am, for the most part, very happy with it. Essential services stay cheap for everyone and our health care and education remains fairly good, despite the low funding (I am comparing to the States here).

    Over the last while the trend has been to spin some of them off, especially at the provincial level. Those ones sometimes end up having a hard time because of the potential outcries of increased prices but services and wages usually ramp up in the end, once it all settles. Larger companies are free to buy them as well.

    I don't know of any totally capitalist societies out there, and I doubt it would actually work. Successful countries have done it with a careful mix.
  • What I see happening is that they will simply market 2 of everything, a consumer line and a "pro" line, with the pro line only available to actual businesses (maybe you have to show some actual proof - might be hard if you are an independent consultant).

    To top it off, the pro line will be slightly more expensive (say, $200 for a consumer drive, while the pro drive is $250) - not enough to piss a normal business off, but enough to make consumers shy away from it via sticker shock, if they see what is going on, and can figure out a way around providing proof.

    Worldcom [worldcom.com] - Generation Duh!
  • Buy CPRM-crippled disk drives, and then demand a refund. File an FTC complaint if they give you any hassle at all.

    What do you think the IBMs and Maxtors of the world would do, if they had a million returned units on their hands? Per FTC rules, they can't resell them as new.

    -jcr
  • You probably shouldn't use the term "copy protection" -- use "copy prevention" instead, or perhaps "copyright protection".

    "Copy protection" is a vague and dangerous term.

    - - - - -
  • what's supposed to be there? The login wasn't allowed. mirror?

    It was that awful picture from goatse.cx ... apparently they've now denied access to that account and/or directory.

    $ ncftpget -F ftp://t13:$tandard$@ftp.t13.org/incoming/hello.jpg
    ncftpget: cannot open t13: username and/or password was not accepted for login

    - - - - -
  • IBM isn't the entire ATA commitie. Intel has a big part, and they've already said that copy protection would *not* make it into ATA for harddrives.
  • For the past several days I've been unable to get to www.theregister.co.uk. I'd assumed maybe they were having problems, and spaced it off. But with /. showing a link to them, it would make me think they are reachable from some places. I've even tried to traceroute from a few of the places on www.geektools.com, with no results.

    Anybody give me a spot-check on this? After all, how can I read the links this story refers to if I cannot get packets to the servers?
  • I don't really worry about this. I have enough faith in the average user that I would accept them to reject introduction of this new technology. Explain it to them in 30 seconds, even without our information-should-be-free bias, and they'll furrow their brow and start questioning it. "So I should pay more for a hard drive that offers me less control over the content? How again does that benefit me?"

    So let the hard drive industry push ahead with their own plans. If they want another rerun of DivX, that's fine with me.

  • I think that everyone would agree that the content creator should have the last word over how his content should be used.

    OK, kosipov, as the content creator of this post I hereby instruct you on how my content should be used: Print this post on 8.5x11 or A4 sized paper, crumple it up and swallow it. No water allowed.
  • I think it's a great idea. It would help bridge the cognitive gap between the complex world of content-control and the simple perceptions of consumers. However, I think it will be very hard to persuade the first few manufacturers.
  • I was really offended by that quote. Why should there be any compromise at all? Why shouldn't the customer, who's paying for the equipment, get what he wants? How did these so-called content providers become worthy of consideration in a transaction which does not involve them?
  • to DCS101 :)

    (DMCA Copy Stopper or something like that)
    ========================
    63,000 bugs in the code, 63,000 bugs,
    ya get 1 whacked with a service pack,
  • Time to return to the log cabin in Montana...
  • You're right - copy prevention would have been a better term.

    My bad.
    John "Dark Paladin" Hummel

  • Taiwan is a country

    It was nice knowing you. The Chinese secret police are surely already on their way from Beijing to Tianenmen [bermanfineart.com] your ass.

    --
  • Nice idea! The main problem would be to get this underway organizationally. One approach would be to join ip with the Electronic Frontier Foundation [eff.org].

    ________________________________________
    Don't blame Windows--if you were a Microsoft operating system, you'd have problems too.

  • Too bad that is now illegal. It is illegal for you to hack systems that you bought.

    So when the media distorts things like DeCSS and makes it sound like those "hackers" are equivalent to those that break into other people's systems, tell them this: There is a BIG difference (morally and legally) between using a Slim Jim to break into someone elses car versus breaking into your own (e.g. you left the keys inside or the door locks froze in the winter, etc).

    It should be the same with computers. But the DMCA [cornell.edu] changed that. Any code which restricts your rights is illegal to bypass. Content providers have legislative power to set their own copyright law for their products. Unlike legislators, they aren't elected by the people.

  • And sadly there appears to be no exemption in the DMCA to bypass a system which damages hardware.

    Not that the exemptions in the DMCA matter anyway, Judge Kaplan ignored all the ones the DeCSS defense raised. In addition to ignoring the fair use and constitutional issues. Ignoring the rights of the people under the Constitution is quite the norm.

    And the DeCSS case proved EVEN IF you can afford good (or great, like Martin Garbus) lawyers and you are legally right, you can still lose. They did.

    If your actions hurt the corporate/government complex, they'll hang you. (figuratively for now, but if "economic terrorism" [i.e. your action destroyed a companies "right to profit" and caused them and our country money] legislation comes around - in 20 years it may well be literal - something like THAT would disuade people from posting DeCSS, etc like nothing else would).

  • If you're so dead set against "intellectual property", then what does the perversion of copyright law have to do with anything?

    We see this often -- people will use any arguments they can against their favorite enemy, whether or not those arguments can rationally go together. If you don't believe in intellectual property, then you should be against copyrights of any kind, limited or not.

    Either side is arguable; I tend to agree with those who push for limited copyright protection, but can see that the "anti-intellectual-property" argument has some logic to it as well. But you destroy your credibility if you try to argue both.

  • Naw, capitalism is the bomb. Just remember...

    Capitalism's greatest enemies are successful capitalists.

    --

  • and hiding it under a blanket like "the plan isn't JUST about copy protection, but also about enhancing security" is an obvious and sad marketing effort to try to find some credibile partner function for copy protection.

    Kind of like "Napster helps independent bands" is a sad effort to try to find some credible partner function for illegal music copying?

  • 3 card monty is the three card slight of hand rip off you see played on the sidewalks of new york and other big cities, designed to rip of tourists.

    What these guys are doing is trying to pull the same kind of scam over our eyes.

    There is an old quote, going back to WWII, and maybe even back to the revolution in various forms:

    "The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigalance"

    I hate to say it, but it seems to be truer than ever. It used to apply just to governments, etc.; now it applies to anyone with big bucks.

  • It used to apply just to governments, etc.; now it applies to anyone with big bucks.

    they are the same person (people). Plutocracy. Class Warfare. Unfortunatley things will get worse before it gets better - then the revolution starts - it always does...

  • Great idea! Sign me up.
  • What's the big fuss? I'll tell you. Why should you punish many for the actions of a few? Why should raid 1(mirroring) become useless or the network storage industry go under because the RIAA is greedy? Why should my life as an administrator become hell because people download music and I can no longer backup my data? I don't give a rat's ass about the RIAA, nor do I listen to "popular" brittany spears crap music that is out today. Why should the hard drives in my servers be crippled because the music industry is pissed off?

    This has nothing to do with them. As an IT professional, I have no sympathy for them. As an IT professional, I resent any technology that makes my job hell! FSCK YOU RIAA! Just because some dork is downloading songs is no reason to cripple perfectly good technology. So, what is next, I ask you? I have some good examples.

    I can buy a single container of Dannon yogurt and a gallon of milk and make a tub of yogurt using the Dannon as a starter. I can then infinately make yogurt from that yogurt. Is Dannon going to sue me because I'm replicating lactobacillus acidophilus bacteria? If I buy an expensive cook book and learn how to make a delicious tortellini dish and then I show others how to do it, I am a somehow a bad guy? If I share this information with ten other people and they in turn show others, am I going to be targeted because some Italian italian cook lost money on book sales? Where are we going to draw the line?

    In the first of the two aforementioned examples, do you really see me having to sign a non-disclosure agreement stating that I will not use their yogurt to make more yogurt - In other words, I will not copy? There is already a piracy tax placed on certain types of blank media. Will there be a piracy tax placed on jugs of milk to recompensate Dannon because I have not bought their yogurt but merely replicated it by using warm milk?

    The RIAA has become way to hungry for power. They are trying to extend their reach into an area where they have no right to interfere. The problem here is, if I tell people they can't share recipies out of a cookbook I wrote, I guarantee you those people would laugh at the idea. So what's next? Are we going to shutdown kinko's because pages of books can be copied at their facilities? Will libraries suddenly only store "hard to find" and "out of print books" so that Amazon can churn a profit? The answer is NO. Why should the RIAA be any different?

  • Great idea, although the first thing that comes to mind is that Matsushita (IBM's co-conspirator in the CPRM deal) is by far the largest maker of decent cheap CD-Rs and depite a pathetic --perhaps fatal would be a better term-- time to market, they'll eventually be the largest producers of DVD-R.
    So, for optical media you're kinda trapped by the fact that a small group of Japanese companies own the market. I'd be interested to hear from someone who knows better, but I am under the impression that all, and I mean ALL, CD recorders are manufactured by large Japanese firms. I've lived in Taiwan for many years and although Taiwan makes some of its own CD readers, I'm fairly sure that there are no Taiwanese companies who make writers.
    So, what's the point here Steve? Well, a local company might be willing to feature the logo on their boxes to boost overseas sales (locally, it wouldn't be worth much) but I don't think there are any CD-R companies in Taiwan that do direct imports to the States without strict OEM agreements with their Japanese --uhmm bosses. And since those guys are the ones pushing for the CPRM, I don't see them featuring this logo real big on the boxes.
    So, that's just optical media. And, as I posted below, I think the Japanese have screwed themselves there by their own arrogance in that particular market. PC firewire cards and accompanying external hard drive cases are all the rage at the local shops in recent months along with the 4X IDE motherboards, so the DVD standard can go to hell with it's proprietary copy control crap and Matshushita will get what it deserves for holding its cards so long.
    But as Schwab pointed out, optical is hardly the only place this logo would be used. Flash memory is something much more native to Taiwan and I think Taiwan is a country that is open for business with the Open Source community as long as their hands aren't tied by deals like they probably have in the optical market. The government partially operates the big chip fabs, but it's usually in conjunction with lots of smallish companies. The smallish indepent hardware conpanies in Taiwan might be a good place to pitch this. Open Source is quite popular among Taiwanese computer geeks.
    Then there's hard drives and those are mostly coming out of the good ol' USA. Now, I'm not talking manufactuing obviously because those are probably in Malaysia/Singapore, but coorporate headquarters who might be doing the logo side of the box design and all that. Hey, business is business with them there fellers. If it can move product, then so be it.
    On the other hand, a lot of these companies seem highly sensitive to their product package designs. You may have noticed the cheapo IDE Seagate drives come in a package that says "Seashells Patent Pending" Gag! I'll take a trademark on the stupid pun, but patented? With that kind of overzealous IP crap going on, you have to wonder if they're going to be open to this sort of idea.
    Got to start somewhere though. If you put the log on the web, it might not be that hard to send a little form letter around the island. I could translate it. Well, if it ever gets to that point, it will be a new /. story I suppose. It could take off. Who knows. These optical storage suckas might be irrelevant anyway.
  • After all, Phoenix is a BIOS software and the one post quoting the "ATA guru" said that this new Pheonix plan allows you to use certain undisclosed OS's, or tools thereof, to simply re-organize your boot sector more to your liking. That being the case, it doesn't look like it's really about hard drives.
    DVD, on the other hand-- I think that's more where this is at with Toshiba and Matsushita. And this is where it has been for so long. The Japanese have totally blown that market. Price competitive DVD-R is so overdo it's gonna end up a stillborn product and this continuing game is just drawing it out further and further. There are alternatives to DVD for home content --stacks of cheap hard drives-- and the main forms of IP this ridiculous debate is targeting are movies and audio both of which are mostly used by people in their homes.
  • Yep, the moderators had to go moderating a reasonably-stated but unpopular opinion flamebait.

    I think that everyone would agree that the content creator should have the last word over how his content should be used.

    I don't think so. The right to control one's content is absolutely artificial - it exists only because someone says so. In the United States, these rights are granted for the public good with certain limitations, specifically fair use. They are supposed to expire eventually, at which time everyone gets equal access to the work. Unfortunately, content-controllers, (distinct from creators, who usually have no say inh the distribution of their content) are afraid of being made irrelevant by advances in technology. So they engage in collusion and deny consumers their rights regarding content. Then they purchase legistlation to prohibit the progress of technology so they don't become obsolete.

    Analogy: In 1910 live theaters realize that movies will crush their business - it isn't fair that movies are able to be preformed in one location and shown everywhere!!! And movies can be filmed on location in tropical paradises and shown in Podunk! This is going to destroy the entertainment industry. So they get Congress making it illegal to show a movie more than 30 miles from where it was filmed.

    Explain to me how this is any different than content-control technology?
  • Thanks for not using the Industry's propaganda terms like "copy protection". "Copy prevention" is more accurate, but the best term to use would be "access control".

    Damn, I sound like RMS..but...everytime some writes or says those propaganda words, they are implicitly supporting the Industry's arguments!

  • You must be one of those listening to the 'propogandistic lies'. Have you ever heard of the MSDN program? You get just about every piece of software and development tool that Microsoft publishes for less than $2000 a year for 'development purposes'. 'Street' value on this software is easily tens of thounsands of dollars. These prices are set arbitrarily. This 'theft induced price raise' is a complete fabrication.
  • by ewhac (5844) on Friday February 23, 2001 @02:58PM (#407217) Homepage Journal

    If you are sued, then the proscribed measures are in place, and OMI certification is denied. QED :-).

    As for getting manufacturers to submit to testing, that would happen on a "pro-bono" basis, at least initially. Since an OMI certification currently has no value in the marketplace, manufacturers would have no reason to seek it. So studies and certifications would be done in a sort of "Consumer Reports" manner. Once OMI compliance becomes a consumer requirement, manufacturers will seek certification directly.

    It's a risky proposition -- the risk being that the public may Just Not Give a Damn -- but I think it's worth a try.

    Schwab

  • by Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) on Friday February 23, 2001 @12:43PM (#407218) Homepage
    Sounds like more Commodore 64-style copy protection.
    [..]
    remove the checking, and the problem is solved.

    You know, I'm not big-time "hacker" (or "cracker", for that matter) or anything, but I can say that the very first thing I ever did with a computer that I could call a real "hack" involved exactly this issue.

    For those who don't know, C-64 copy protection often seemed to involve intentionally messing up part of the disk in a particular way, so that when you tried to read from that part, you'd get an error code. Then, they'd just have their program try to read the disk in that spot - if there wasn't an error, or it wasn't the RIGHT error, it was obviously a copy ("Obviously", copy programs wouldn't copy errors, would they? [More advanced bit-for-bit 'nibbler' copiers popped up in short order that DID, so you could once again make functional backups of your software...but I digress.]) The problem is, every time the floppy drive hit an error, it would reset itself by "banging" the head repeatedly against the stop, eventually knocking it out of alignment.

    Many years ago, I owned a copy of "Stellar 7" for the Commodore 64, and this one was particularly egregious about copy protection. As I recall, it read errors from the drive four times when you started loading, two or four times when you started a game, and two or four times every time you progressed from one level to another.

    I got really tired of listening to my floppy drive knocking itself to pieces whenever I wanted to play a game, so I dug out a sector editor, found the bit of code that said (essentially) "if you don't get this error, stop" and tweaked it so that it would continue whether the error was there or not. Then I copied the disk sans errors, so I could play without ruining my floppy drive.

    [sniffle]...ah, those were the days


    ---
    "They have strategic air commands, nuclear submarines, and John Wayne. We have this"
  • by Malcontent (40834) on Friday February 23, 2001 @11:14PM (#407219)
    I have always maintained that the more draconian copy protection schemes are the better it is for open source software.

    Right now one of the main reasons MS has such a huge monopoly on office software is because a huge number of people pirate their copy. Add to that the millions of copies that are pirated worldwide and you see what I mean. All of these people have zero incentive to explore lower cost, free or open source options because they can get office for free.

    Imagine if nobody in the entire world could copy office!. Overnight the market share of perfect office, star office, smartsuite etc would rocket upward. Especially overseas where people would drop office like a hot potato because paying for it would mean giving up a years wage.

    To fight this MS would have to drop their prices drasticaly which would be a good thing for everybody. It also would take away another cash cow from MS and that would be a good thing.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr.mac@com> on Saturday February 24, 2001 @12:23AM (#407220) Journal
    Dear Sir:

    If at any time in the future, I purchase a Quantum storage device and discover that it has been crippled with CPRM, I will return it and demand a refund because such a device is defective.

    If I encounter any reluctance on Quantum's part to pay this refund, rest assured that within the day I will both file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, and also instruct my attorney to register a class-action suit against Quantum for knowingly selling a defective product.

    Unlike software manufacturers, you don't get to hide behind a disclaimer of implied warranty. A disk will store and retrieve what I want it to
    store and retrieve, without any big-brother bullshit, or it is unfit for the purpose for which it is marketed and sold.

    Please refer this note up your chain of command.

    -jcr
  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Friday February 23, 2001 @08:09PM (#407221)
    I mean, if you cp a file then turn right around and rm it; I mean, what's the point?

    is there any? am I missing something??

    --

  • by crucini (98210) on Friday February 23, 2001 @02:30PM (#407222)
    If you're so dead set against "intellectual property", then what does the perversion of copyright law have to do with anything?

    Copyright law in the US is not based on the concept of intellectual property. The founding fathers believed in property as an absolute right which was recognized, not granted, by government. However copyright is an artificial right created by a government for a utilitarian reason - to encourage the arts and sciences. Copyright is not a governmental recognition of a natural right.
    Therefore, it's quite logical that people who do not believe in intellectual property are upset at the perversion of copyright law.
    Copyright is now being extended and defended on the basis of the 'intellectual property rights' of the copyright holders. There are no such rights.
  • by Dark Paladin (116525) <`jhummel' `at' `johnhummel.net'> on Friday February 23, 2001 @12:31PM (#407223) Homepage

    That's how I feel today about all these news reports - the Feds teaming up against alt2600 in the DCCS case, Napster all but gone, and now these proposals to prevent our own information from being traded about.

    Yes, I understand the need for copy protection - I hate it when folks sell pirated copies of games because I know that's money that should have gone to a hard working developer. But it seems that corporate interests have gone out on such an insane bend to make certain that the people who might rip them off don't - even at the expense of the privacy and freedoms of law abiding citizens.

    Probably the worst part is the possibility of what might follow. There was a joke made that the RIAA will sue people who sing copyrighted songs in the showers. On Ubersoft [ubersoft.net] they have a joke about a gigantic company's word processing software preventing the federal government from prosecuting them for illegal actions by detecting what words are typed and changing them.

    And that's what makes me so depressed about these articles. It always starts off for "the good" reasons - copy protection good, so copy protection technology has to be good too. The problem is that we all know we can't trust other people to make our own decisions for us, and the second that the power is taken out of our hands, the possibility for corruption is there. What happens when the "copy protection" technology is modified to not allowed "unsupported" or "illegal" software (ie: "dangerous" GPL software that doesn't make the corporations any money).

    That's the problem with the copy control schemes. I don't fear people taking my words and claiming them for their own. I fear the people who might prevent my words from being seen at all in the name of "the good of the business" interests.


    John "Dark Paladin" Hummel

  • by RandomPeon (230002) on Friday February 23, 2001 @01:51PM (#407224) Journal
    I'm on a one-person crusade to get the phrase "content-control" used for these types of systems. Two reasons:

    1)It's more inclusive - it describes all the DMCA-protected "advancements" we hate. In addition to technology which takes away our fair-use rights, it includes the really evil stuff like region-coding, limited usage content, subscription software, and so on. The problem with "copy protection" is that these companies don't want to stop there - they want to control everything we do with content.

    2)It's inflammatory. The press picked up the term "partial-birth abortion" even though the medical term is "intact dilation and extraction". The language alone gave an awfully big boost to the prolife side on this one. "Copy control" does the same thing - it has the worst possible connotation and is still accurate. (Not trying to start the abortion debate, this is just an example. I have expressed no opinion on abortion itself, please don't use this thread to do so either. Go to Kuro5hin for that.)
  • by ewhac (5844) on Friday February 23, 2001 @01:33PM (#407225) Homepage Journal

    It seems there should be better fora for floating this idea, but I can't think of what they may be, and it seems time is no longer on our side. Thus:

    The biggest problem is that the copy control technologies are insidious: They are inserted into flashy, cool devices or software without informing the customer they're there, thus thwarting their desire (or not) to avoid them. For example, did you know the latest WinAmp contains copy control measures from InterTrust? Of course not. AOL conveniently "forgot" to tell you.

    We could create a list of products, companies, and/or technologies to avoid, but then the copy control philistines would simply change the names of their stuff on a regular basis, and the fight would devolve into a shell game. This lets them say, "Oh, no, we stopped incorporated CPRM at customer request!" and then fail to tell you that it simply got renamed to ICST (Insidious Citizen-Screwing Technology). You're still screwed, but they get to play PR games with us.

    Thus, my proposal: I propose the creation of the Open Media Initiative, a non-profit entity whose charter is to analyze new digital hardware and software, and report whether they contain copy control measures. The Open Media Initiative (OMI) would promote the following values:

    • Technological measures restricting duplication of any data may not exist.
    • Technological measures restricting usage of any data, regardless of the type of data or the intended use, shall not exist.
    • Technological measures to record or report to third parties usage, duplication, or any other activity directly or indirectly involving said data shall not exist.

    Note that only technological measures are addressed. Social and legal restrictions are free to exist (or not); the OMI simply prohibits their ensconcement in code or hardware. (For the purposes of the OMI, executable programs are considered data.)

    Devices and software meeting this three-pronged test shall be eligible to use an OMI certification logo on their products, so that consumers will be able to immediately identify compliant, safe products, and avoid non-compliant ones. A list of products receiving certification would also appear on the OMI's Web site.

    Yes, publicizing OMI and the OMI logo, at least in the "traditional" manner, would be horribly expensive. However, as things stand now, if you're a member of the tech community, and are rightfully repulsed by these encroachments on the freedoms we worked so hard to build into our systems, explaining the issues to, say, your grandmother could be a laborious process. However, if you could simply tell her, "Don't buy anything unless it has this logo on it," the problem is considerably simplified.

    By way of example, current CD-ROM burners would be eligible for the OMI logo, as would Linux and the most recent rev of Unreal Tournament. SDMI-enabled MP3 players, Windows, and Quake3:Arena would not.

    So, who's with me?

    Schwab
    (Dear Lord, what have I let myself in for?)

  • by StoryMan (130421) on Friday February 23, 2001 @12:50PM (#407226)
    Well, and remember this: that the idea of "copyright" was not created in order to protect a monopoly or to make the copyright holders "rich".

    The essence of copyright was that it was devised to promote the robust dissemination of information by compensating artists for their work. And -- as if that weren't enough -- the idea of "copyright" was that it was *limited* protection.

    It's time Boies starts harping on this, too. The RIAA (and everyone else) is using "copyright" as a shield to legally (or, I suppose, illegally) construct monopolistic, monolithic conglomerates. That's not what "copyright" is about. Never has been but -- because of Hilary Rosen and Jack Valenti -- is clear that that's what it is becoming.

    "Copyright" is yet another example of corporate exploitation. (As if we need another.)

    Sorta like the absurd comments last week about the "dangers" of "open source" and how it threatens "intellectual property."

    Come on, stop and think: *intellectual property*? What kind of capitalistic, corporate oxymoron is that? It's absurd and every day grows more so.
  • by Anal Surprise (178723) on Friday February 23, 2001 @04:28PM (#407227)
    Having user-controlled copy control is as bad as having mandatory control.

    Why? Because choices like this are seldom left to the user.

    Take cookies, for example. The technology exists to disable them. Suddenly, you can't use many sites, because they require that cookies be enabled. Similarly, if the OS allows you to disable CPRM copy control, a small loader can just say "hey, this program is on a CPRM-protected media! you're fucked! here's how to enable CPRM..."

    It's infuriating, really. This "optional" gambit is just another attempt to force us to pay for technology that adds no value.
  • by lupa (218669) on Friday February 23, 2001 @12:31PM (#407228)
    from the cnet article: "It is a compromise between what an end user expects to be able to do and the content providers' wish to protect their material," he said. "We are not trying to take away users' rights or capabilities."

    i don't see how either statement can be true. protecting copyright by restricting the usage of blank media DIRECTLY interferes with what an end user expects to be able to do with said blank media. and hiding it under a blanket like "the plan isn't JUST about copy protection, but also about enhancing security" is an obvious and sad marketing effort to try to find some credibile partner function for copy protection.

    now, i know the average consumer isn't the best educated person in the world, but do they really expect computer users to fall for this plan?

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